Advice for New Triathlon Swimmers

Do not be intimidated if you’re just a novice in swimming. You just need a little courage, self-discipline as well as some good instruction to be able to learn the way to swim.




Do take a beginners’ swimming course. Do like I, and several other triathletes have done – seek guidance at a local city college or adult – education course. The YMCA in your neighborhood may also offer swim courses. When you look hard enough, you will find a beginners’ class to get you started.

Don’t recruit a friend as an instructor. Do not make the mistake that a lot of people do – recruiting a person you already know or you believe is an excellent swimmer or claim that they’re a very good swimmer.

Those reputations are in many cases inflated, and in this way you’ll hardly ever get good training. Again, the very best method is to seek professional instruction from a swim coach who conducts a class.

Do stick with it. Swimming is more technical and skill-oriented when compared with cycling and running. Learning a sequence of skills would therefore help in learning to swim the front crawl appropriately.

These skills are usually taught independently and then combined gradually. Exhaling underwater, turning your head to breathe, stroking, kicking, maintaining good body position-acquiring these and other skills is a methodical and painstaking process. Be patient, and also have faith within your instructor.

Though the given drills might seem mundane and wear on you psychologically, practice them in the order they are given. You’ll be grateful you did afterwards.

Don’t jump the gun. There is nothing worse than feeling discouraged. Trying a full blown lap swimming exercise when you’ve just taken one week of instruction is a certain means to discourage yourself from learning to swim.

Again, swimming is a technical sport, and it normally takes time to perfect technique. Focus on practicing drills, concern yourself with lap swimming later.

[pullquote]You’ll learn more quickly and retain much more[/pullquote]Do practice by yourself.¬†Setting aside some time away from class to practice the drills learned from your last class is a more effective means to use your energy, rather than trying to lap swim too early.

At the time I took beginners’ swimming, I knew I would not be prepared in 6 months for my first triathlon if I only attended the twice-a-week courses without some extra effort. So when the pool was open, I set aside 3 more days during the week for practicing the drills I’ve learned from the previous class. It is also ideal to get in as much practice as close to the training as possible when you’re initially learning a new activity.

You’ll learn more quickly and retain much more by doing this. If you’re serious about learning to swim, set aside a minimum of 2 or 3 sessions for every week-even if they’re 15-minute sessions-for practicing the most recent lesson by yourself.

Don’t learn bad habits. Though you may feel at a disadvantage when you are new to swimming, you’re learning to swim the front crawl appropriately. Because technique plays a huge role in swimming, bad habits abound.

Just observe the masters groups swimming sessions at a local YMCA. You will see arms flailing and slapping the water in every direction, terrible flutter kicks that send spouts to the ceiling, and poor breathing habits, that make you wonder whether there are enough lifeguards on deck.

Even if you are not entirely new to the front crawl, concentrate on letting go of any bad habits you could have developed by learning technique through drills all over again.

Good luck!

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